Buying a home can be a lot of work. From the hunting, approvals, to the gathering of paper work, it can be overwhelming. It’s important to find a great broker to help guide you through some of this mess. We’ve collected some tips to make the process easier, so you can learn what not to do.
Do you research on the neighborhood you want to buy in. If you fall in love with a house, think about it first. Don’t just put an offer in. Consider what school district it’s in, what school would your kids or future kids go to. You’ll want to know if it’s a safe neighborhood, what’s the crime rate. Would you feel comfortable letting your kids roam the neighborhood during the day or night.
There are other neighborhood factors to consider. Is it near a noisy highway or train tracks? A great way to learn about the neighborhood is to talk to potential neighbors and ask the questions you want answers to.
Listen to your Head
Sometimes your heart just falls in love with a home, and you’re ready to make an offer then and there, because you’re sure it’s perfect. Be sure to look things over more critically, as you might miss something important. You know the saying “love is blind,” and this certainly applies to house hunting. Be sure to apply your same list of needs, wishes and wants to this property. You may have fallen in love with it, but it might not meet the standards you set for yourself, like being close to town, 4 bedrooms not 2, etc.
We say it all the time: getting pre-approved is crucial to house hunting. Why hunt for properties that you’re not sure you can afford? Who wants to make an offer on a property only to find out your loan is denied? The best way to get out ahead of this problem is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting. That way you know what the bank will loan you and what you can afford. It will stop you from looking at houses that are out of your budget, and prevent you from wasting time and getting your hopes up.
If you’ve only ever rented before, the cost of paying for full utilities might come as a shock to you. Water and sewer typically are included in rent, but as a homeowner you’re on the hook for everything. If your washing machine breaks down, you can’t call a landlord to come and fix it, you’re responsible for the repairs and the repair bill. If your roof leaks in the winter, it’s up to you to get it fixed and shovel the roof. These are all typical growing pains that come with owning a house. The obvious benefit of owning over renting is that you’re putting equity in something, and depending on your market, you could stand to earn more in the value of your home as time goes on. It’s important to note that most mortgages are less expensive than monthly rents, so the extra money you’re saving can go to cover unforeseen expenses.
There are a lot of questions that come with buying a home for the first time. Having an experienced broker to walk you through the process, and answer any questions you have, can be crucial. Find someone you trust, both to find you the perfect home, and to help you close the deal.